As a student, Blake Masters — now a GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in Arizona — defended a classmate’s skepticism of the “official story” of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He also told his housemates that voting was unnecessary and often “immoral”, called health inspections “bullshit” and said America circa 2006 was “fascist”.
The messages were sent to the Columbae Group mailing list, a left-leaning vegan co-op at Stanford University where Masters lived and housemates made decisions on a collective basis. The emails, dozens of which were obtained by HuffPost, show Masters’ embrace of contrarianism and devout libertarian ideals even before he became a sidekick to venture capitalist and democracy skeptic Peter Thiel, whose million funded the Masters campaign in the Arizona primary.
Masters is now trailing Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Arizona) in public polls as Thiel and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) tussle over who will fund his efforts, as Kelly has more than 12 against 1 cash benefit for the final months of the race, according to data from the Federal Election Commission. A victory for Kelly would give a major boost to Democratic hopes of retaining control of the Senate 50-50.
Past comments from masters, on blogs, in interviews and even on a Crossfit message board, have already become major running issues. His opponent in the primary, businessman Jim Lamon, spent millions on ads noting that Masters called the Unabomber an ‘underrated’ thinker, and the Anti-Defamation League slammed the posts and articles which Masters wrote suggesting that the “House of Morgan and Rothschild” were partly responsible for America’s entry into World War I.
To win his primary, Masters espoused a variety of hard-line views, calling for the overturning of Supreme Court cases guaranteeing a right to contraception and same-sex marriage, backing former President Donald Trump’s lies about an election stolen in 2020 and saying he would vote to impeach President Joe Biden. He has backed down from some of those positions since winning the primary, including a call to privatize Social Security.
The views expressed by Masters in the 2006 emails are less committed to conservative orthodoxy and show the influence of “dozens and dozens of books on true liberty, anarchy, and philosophical (non-partisan) libertarianism” which he boasted of possessing. Many emails bemoan what he described as the limited scope of American political debate and decry American politics and elections as nothing more than a scam.
They also give clues to the politician Masters would become: dismissive of Democratic outcomes, skeptical of foreign intervention and government agendas, and willfully provocative.
The Masters campaign declined to comment on the emails. During the primary, he dismissed criticism of his past opinions, while acknowledging that they were likely to become news.
“The left-wing media, of course, they were going to try to smear me, call me a racist, a sexist and a terrorist,” he said. while holding her young son, in a video posted to Twitter. “They will look at everything I wrote as a teenager, try to twist it all.”
“Nothing wrong with being a ‘conspiracy theorist'”
In May 2006, the Department of Defense released footage of American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, prompting another Stanford student to send a lengthy email questioning the official story of the attacks. and recommending the Scholars website for 9 years. /11 Truth. Masters was quick to defend his fellow student’s skepticism, never outright sharing his point of view.
“I just want to emphasize that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a ‘conspiracy theorist’ or a ‘revisionist historian,'” Masters wrote, adding, “Given the number of state-directed conspiracies and official revisionist projects that have taken place in recent history…it would be crazy to claim that such things are no longer possible, or that ‘it couldn’t happen here…’”
“The story we were told about 9/11 may be correct, but blindly accepting it would be wrong (much like accepting ‘conspiracy theories’ without reasonable possibilities/evidence presented),” Masters continued. . “When something like 9/11 happens, you have to ask yourself ‘who benefits?’ There are several different answers to the question, and we must assess them all, including our would-be protectors.Especially when the US government has shown in the past that sacrificing citizens for political gain is something it is willing to do. TO DO.
In another email, sent in February 2006, Masters sent a link to his blog post on the sinking of the Lusitania, which helped spur America’s entry into World War I.
“[D]o do you know why the United States entered the First World War? it was not about “making the world safe for democracy,” Masters wrote. “The United States stepped in to save bank interest and fulfill [President Woodrow] Wilson’s personal fantasy dreams of a world government. The Lusitania was sacrificed and used as a propaganda tool. Keep reading and get excited. This shit is happening right now with George W. Bush.
“Fascism + America = right now”
In January 2006, at a time when George W. Bush was in the White House and Republicans controlled both the House and the Senate, Masters emailed his classmates with a provocative subject: Fascism + America = right now”.
In the email, Masters linked to a blog post that is no longer available online.
“The thesis is that the United States government is fascist. I hope you find the analysis interesting and illuminating,” Masters wrote in the email, which was sent around 10 a.m. on a Saturday. “If only one person reads it, it will have been a Friday night well spent.”
One idea that Masters expressed repeatedly in the emails was that voting was a waste of time.
On Election Day 2005, he sent his housemates an email with a series of links to articles he said “offer an alternative and objectively more peaceful approach to social composition than voting, or even Politics”. Most of the articles came from libertarian thinkers, including Murray Rothbard. One, however, was from anarchist Emma Goldman, whom Masters was quick to add “got the property rights wrong.”
Another email he sent on the eve of the 2005 election advised recipients that “if you are to worship this wretchedly peculiar American diet called Democracy Tomorrow”, they should read an article opposing Proposition 80 of California, which dealt with energy regulation. (The proposal failed.)
In June 2006, Masters sent an email with “Don’t vote” in the subject line, before quoting satirist HL Mencken: “Every election is a kind of early auction of stolen goods.”
And on Election Day 2006, he returned with a similar message, sharing an op-ed he had submitted to the Stanford Daily. “Economically speaking, you’re wasting your time at the polls,” Masters wrote. “Of course you can get all patriotic on me and claim a subjective inner realization of your duty as a good citizen and all that gibberish. Good. I can’t argue with you there. But your vote is meaningless and will not affect the outcome. Period.”
He went on to say that most voters are immoral because “most people vote to increase coercion on others” by supporting either tax increases or “assault on innocent people”.
“I encourage you not to vote today because it’s just not worth your time,” he wrote. “You simply choose what you find most appealing of the various forms of coercion that will be applied to you and your friends, and you may be giving implied consent to the special interests running the show in the process.”
Masters ended the submitted column with a bit of expertise, predicting that Democrats would end up with 230 House seats and Republicans would end up with 51 Senate seats. (Democrats ended up with 233 House seats and 51 Senate seats.)
“We prefer NASCAR. It sucks.”
Many emails dealt with the day-to-day realities of university life. In them, Masters asks if anyone has any “South Park” DVDs he can borrow, and navigates the logistics of moving into the house and dividing up the chores. He invites people to Shakespeare readings and to play intramural football.
“[S]I don’t know if you are aware of it, but football (hereafter called ‘futbol’) is the greatest sport in the world,” Masters wrote in 2006. “Billions of people play and love futbol. America is about the least appreciative of this great game. In America, we prefer NASCAR. It sucks. Don’t be lame. Come play IM Futbol!
“What a bunch of fucking bullshit!”
However, Masters’ libertarian beliefs also influenced his daily life. After a county health inspector warned Columbae about the cleanliness of his kitchen, Masters grew concerned about what he considered a violation of his rights.
“[W]hat a bunch of fucking bullshit! he wrote. “Columbae Dining is a very healthy and safe place to live, cook and eat, from all I’ve seen. we use good natural food, and our vigilance, aside from the occasional lapses that an irresponsible part ends up taking care of, is damn good. so basically the government is confiscating our money and using it to pay a beaureucrat to invent an abstract list of health codes and another uncivil official to come and enforce the rules and tell us co-op individuals how to live our lives. something doesn’t seem wrong? »
Masters wrote that he would follow the new rules put in place to keep the kitchen clean, “out of respect for my peers and the house”. But, he wrote, “the feeling of acquiescing to these bastards and following their rules just leaves me with a sense of disgust.”